Hawaii Loa Ridge


"Never take life too seriously. No one makes it out alive."

Updated: March 20, 2016

Location: Located in Hawaii Kai through the Hawaii Loa neighborhood. Trail head starts at the end of the road at the park.

Type: Forest/Ridge hike

Hike Difficulty: Beginner

Total Time: 3 hours round trip

Distance: ~ 3.5 miles

Elevation: ~1700 feet

Things to Consider

  • Kid friendly: yes
  • Pet Friendly: yes
  • Bring your drivers license to show to the security guard at the post. He will give you a pass to hike for the day. Just let him know that you are here for the hike and not to rob any rich houses. Lol
  • The hike was pretty cold so bring a jacket. Not sure if it was because we went when there was a cold front, but we went around February.
  • This hike starts at a really high elevation so it's pretty windy for most of the ridge portion of the hike.
  • Lots of uphill climbs and stairs. The "Hawaii Kai Stair master" is what I call this hike.
  • Majority of the hike will be an easy forest hike with gradual inclines. The last half mile of the hike will gain the most elevation climbing up to the KST.
  • There are also some minor rope climbing sections, but nothing too strenuous. The dirt is also loose at some parts so be careful and be safe out there!
  • Go on a clear day, or you may have just a view of clouds at the end. Just look up towards the mountains and see whether you see the sky or just clouds.

Your hiking backpack

  • 2 to 3 Liters of water
  • Snacks/lunch
  • Gloves if needed for ropes and rock sections
  • GoPro camera
  • Sunscreen


Take Kamehameha Highway towards Hawaii Kai side of the island. You will turn left onto Puuikena Dr, however you cannot make a left turn. You need to turn right into the round about and then head straight across the street. You are in the right place if you see the Hawaii Loa Ridge sign. Show your drivers license to the guard and he will give you a basic run down of the hike. Follow the road all the way up til the end and then park on the right.

Our Journey

So Hawaii Loa Ridge doesn't have the best views in Hawaii Kai, but I still love the hike and it was one of the first hikes I have ever done. It felt good to go back here and actually enjoy the hike a second time instead of just looking at the end for a great Instagram picture. Some hikes you just need to enjoy the scenery, the silence of nature, the changes in terrain of the hike, and the great view at the end. We didn't take too much pictures because it was super windy and cold at the top. But we did get a chance to enjoy some Spicy Ahi from Foodland down the road. At these altitudes, it is kind of rare to have a clear view with no clouds, but we were lucky enough to have one of the clearest days so we took advantage of that! The hike isn't too difficult, just breezing through the forest portion. However, you might break a sweat towards the end heading up the mountain to the summit. There are rope sections and lots and lots of stairs. But after you are rewarded with a great view of Waimanalo, and you can see the Waimanalo Reservoir below. I think this is the only hike where you  can clearly see the reservior below. It looks like a small swimming pool, but it is huge! 126 acres of land and hundreds of thousands of gallons of water! Lately the reservoir has been full, and although it is illegal, people used to have slip and slide adventures here! Access to the reservoir will be left undisclosed. But happy hiking and be safe out there!



























This is the parking lot where guests park for the hike.




























We went to the left to explore a bit of the park and to use the bathroom.




























What a cool spot for the Hawaii Loa residents to hang out!




























We got busted for exploring too much. The park is off limits to non-residents.




























Looking out towards the next ridge over.




























The trail starts just by the parking. Head towards the right.




























Off the dirt trail and into the forest.




























Wide open dirt trail at the start.




























Nice views of the adjacent ridge lines.




























And into the forest we go.




























The mountains in the distance is our end point.




























Still smiling. That's a good sign so far. Lol




























I love how the terrain just keeps changing!




























Some minor inclines. Watch your step with all the tree roots on the ground!




























We thought somebody left their toilet paper just in case of an accident, but it was a medical first aid kit. Awesome!




























Just an introduction to the stairs.




























Getting there...




























No more forest. All open views from here!




























Just monkeying around in the tree.




























Some Uluhe ferns, but the trail is well maintained.

You may get some minor scratches though.




























And now the stairs of doom!!




























And here's some of the rope sections.




























More stairs...All uphill from here.




























Looking back towards civilization.




























Heading through some dense Uluhe ferns.




























Getting through a tight space on the ridge.




























Some steep rope sections. Be careful and hike safely!



























The Hawaii Kai Stair Master!




























Almost to the top! Just a couple hundred billion more stairs to go!




























Last rope portion before the summit.




























Finally! Glad we had a clear view!




























Such a clear day! And you can see the Waimanalo Reservoir below.




























Eating our Spicy Ahi from Foodland on the edge!




























Looking towards the right on the KST.




























We took a picture with our new Hik3beasthawaii hats on the edge!




























Well time to head back down. It's a long way towards civilization!




























Hats are available on our store page of the website!




























One last look heading down the ridge. Happy hiking!

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